The Communal Table

One of the best parts of the StewARTworks Foundation’s annual gallery event is enjoying a glass of prosecco or rose, along with a tasty snack or two while talking with all the wonderful people there to support the foundation and its mission.

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to do that this year. Even though we can’t be in the same room, we can all still enjoy light refreshments during “Live from the Leavitt Living Room” on Facebook Live, September 24 at 7:00 PM (CT).

I thought I would share three favorite recipes from past events. They are delicious and easy to make. So, whip up a batch of each and get ready to nosh along with us as we engage in lively conversation about the foundation, unveil the new and improved website Gallery, and premier the Gallery Store, where you can purchase a giclee print of your favorite piece of Stew’s ARTwork.

See you on the 24th!

STEWART’S FAVORITE LEMON BARS

Whenever I made these luscious morsels, Stewart’s running joke was to tell me how terrible they were and that they couldn’t possibly be served to anyone. But, good husband that he was, he would eat every one of those lemon bars just so that I wouldn’t feel bad. What a guy!

CRUST

1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Combine crust ingredients until well mixed. Press into a 9×13 ungreased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Reset oven to 325 degrees.

FILLING

1 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 large eggs

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)

Zest of two lemons

powdered sugar for dusting

Whisk dry ingredients together. Add eggs, lemon juice and zest. Mix well. Pour on top of baked crust. Return to oven and bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes until filling is set. Dust with powdered sugar. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

JALAPENO BITES

Adapted from a recipe by Trisha Yearwood, these delightful bites made their debut at our first Gallery Event. Easy to make, they are a big hit whenever they are served.

INGREDIENTS

8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

8 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 cups)

4 Tablespoons seeded and finely chopped jalapeno pepper (to taste – the jalapeno is very mild when baked)

1 large egg

2 cups plain bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix cream cheese, Parmesan, jalapeno and egg into a smooth paste. Form into balls using 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon of the mixture. Roll in bread crumbs and place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

KALE PARMESAN POPCORN

A healthy take on a favorite snack adapted from Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman. We leave our roasted kale in bits (not ground to dust) and prefer Parmigiano-Reggiano to it’s “loud Roman cousin” Pecorino.

ROASTED KALE

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash 1 large bunch of Tuscan kale and shake off excess water. Remove the stems and cut or tear the kale into smaller pieces. Place in a single layer on a large baking sheet (or 2, depending on how much kale you have). Sprinkle with kosher salt and olive oil. Bake until the leaves are crisp. Remove from oven and cool.

POPCORN

Pop your favorite brand of popcorn on the stove top, in an air-popper or microwave. If you are pressed for time, open a package of plain popped popcorn.

FINISHING

Place warm popcorn in a large bowl. Toss with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Crumble the kale over the popcorn and gently toss. Dig in and enjoy!